Stuck in the back of an out-of-control vehicle careening down a slope! (by )

The scene: I, with my family, are in a Little Chef. Jean, bless her, has got food all over herself, so I go out to the van, in the car park, to get wet wipes.

I unlock the back, hop in, go to the box of stuff, and start rooting about for wipes. I feel a slight motion, and wonder if it's strong wind rocking the van, or if somebody bumped into it while getting into an adjacent car as I continue to root. Then I feel a bigger rocking motion, and look outside to, to my horror, see the world moving... the van's rolling backwards, with me in the cargo bay and nobody in the front!

I turn round and look out the rear windows, and see a shiny red expensive-looking car rapidly growing in the rear view as the van picks up speed.


I scrabble at the handle, open the door, and leap out the back of the van, then turn around and put my weight against it to desperately try and slow it down. Skidding on the gravel, I manage to bring it to a halt, about an arm's length away from being crushed between it and the car.

Happy I was not!

For a while it had been annoying me that on particularly steep slopes I'd always had to really heave to get the handbrake to click one more time to keep the thing from rolling away; but if it's now reached the stage where I have to do that even for shallow slopes such as the ones that drain rainwater from car parks, perhaps it's time I looked up how to tighten the handbrake cables...


  • By David Cantrell, Tue 29th Apr 2008 @ 10:21 am

    Leave the van in gear so it's less likely to roll even if the handbrake does let go - put it in first if it would naturally roll backwards, or in reverse if it would naturally roll forwards.


    p>Of course, that's only a temporary measure until you can get the brakes sorted, and remember to take it out of gear before starting the engine!

  • By Lionel, Thu 15th May 2008 @ 9:27 am

    Yes, i'm a great believer in leaving cars in gear (and front wheels lined so the car rolls into the curb). But I do suffer from the old gut-wrenching kangaroo jerk when i start the car having forgotten to un-gear.

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